Our country collectively exhaled a major sigh of relief when Biden was sworn in yesterday and there were no bombings or other violent acts. The derisive, divisive, and violently emotional populous on both sides has fostered the already apparent culture of personal attacks over academic debate. It seems the individuals that make up our country have found their characters questioned, their belief systems rattled, and their underlying nature interrogated by critics of red and blue political parties alike. The moderate majority has been battered into succumbing to a “this or that” mentality that is ripping away freedom of thought and freedom of expression. Our profession has seen this more-so than others considering our very livelihood and our ability to service clients effectively are tied significantly to the legislation that our politicians negligently and biasedly pass down on our country.
You do not have to vote for one political group over another because their tax laws favor your clientele. I have seen far too many people being ripped apart on accounting professional groups for their voting record. I have seen many express regret for voting one way for personal reasons, but support it for professional reasons. It is not your duty to elect officials to support your client group if you do not fundamentally believe in their platform. It is also not your duty to criticize those who exercise their vote based on what they believe is right for our collective society, if it does not align with your belief system.
It is your duty, however, to support your profession and your fellow humans as we all struggle through identifying what does matter and how we can be better professionals. We should be lifting each other up and encouraging self-expression and academic debate. Please take a moment to reach across the metaphorical isle and understand how we can support each other. Tax accounting may be the hardest profession to separate political beliefs from voting records. We are so caught up in the results of these elections on what it means to our profession that we frequently forget that we are also humans, and the people we are debating are also human.
The shaming and vitriolic discourse I have watched over the last year on social media groups is abhorrent. I have seen many posts deleted because the questions turned into personal attacks and it makes me sad. We are all better than that.
Inciting an insurrection at our Capitol was a sobering slap in the face to many staunch Republicans and a collective “holy crap” could be heard echoing across party lines. The vast majority of the Republican voters do not support violence in the name of fascism. The vast majority of Democratic voters do not support violence in the name of socialism. The vast majority of our profession supports fair and just laws, fiscal responsibility, provisions for small businesses, and above all human kindness. We are a profession of helpers – we are in client service!
Your conscience is your own. Your morality is not linked to your voting record. Your training gives you a leg up on the general public in that we all know that we need to trust but verify our facts. Let us come to the collective table with underlying assumptions of love and generosity to our fellow accountants. Let us find a way to be a shining light of a profession on all sides of the political spectrum to support each other and grow from factually supported academic debate. Let us influence tax law in the future in a bi-partisan way and condemn the complete politicization of our tax code.